Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Merlin confirm they would be interested in purchasing Busch Gardens Tampa

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We discussed recently the rumour that SeaWorld were looking to bring in outside financial advisors to help with either a sale or a reorganisation of its assets.

Well one such asset which might be available is Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens Tampa situated approx. an hour away from the thrills of Orlando is extremely popular with UK visitors and blends a mixture of animal attractions plus massive thrill rides. Its also one of our personal favourite parks.

If the park was to be made available for purchase one of the first companies to be interest would be Merlin, owners of LEGOLAND Florida.

First reported on the excellent Skift  travel news website and speaking after the company’s first-half results, Merlin chief financial officer Anne-Francoise Nesmes said;

It takes two parties to do a deal so we do not know what SeaWorld’s intentions are but we do believe that those assets [Busch Gardens] are interesting and we could certainly do a lot with them particularly around accommodation, so to us it’s about having the right discussion with a willing partner and making sure we have the right financial return

Obviously this is purely speculation and of course Merlin would be interested in picking up Busch Gardens, I’m sure they wont be the only ones. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are due to release their second quarter results next week and they could perhaps hold the key to what the future holds for Busch Gardens. At the moment we hear they’re interested in opening an on-site hotel and altering an existing ride into an indoors dark ride.

We’ll keep you updated.

Smiles included…

Jamie

SeaWorld Orlando Confirm Sesame Street Land Coming In 2022

Hey Thrill Seeker,

Today SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, announced the extension of their 37-year partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street®.

SeaWorld we’re excited to announce that with the new deal they have agreed to open a second Sesame Place®!The nation’s second Sesame Place® is scheduled to open no later than 2021 in a location yet to be determined.

Jeffrey D. Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop said;

We know that the magic of theme parks gives families a unique and powerful way to experience and delight in the Sesame Street characters, building more Sesame Place theme parks will enable us to connect with even more families and provide funding that supports our nonprofit mission.

However for Orlando fans the next piece of news was far more interesting.  In addition to a new Sesame Place theme park location, a brand new Sesame Street land will be built in SeaWorld Orlando by fall 2022. The agreement also extends SeaWorld’s status as the exclusive theme park partner of Sesame Street in the United States.

Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc stated;

We share Sesame’s goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the extension of our partnership furthers SeaWorld’s mission to provide guests with experiences that matter, we are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the U.S. and help our company diversify its brand portfolio and expand into new areas.

Sesame Place® features a variety of exciting family rides, water slides, live character shows, a daily parade, and seasonal events that help bring the educational world of Sesame Street to life beyond the show.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Top Secrets at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’re coming to the end of my secret stories on the parks but before we go, we’ll take a look at Busch Gardens. Just like at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens cater for everyone! It’s probably the best park for thrill seekers and animal lovers! Although it’s about an hours drive from the other parks, it’s so worth it!

The thrill seekers have so many coasters at Busch Gardens including Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Kumba, Scorpion an the new Cobra’s Curse! Could you want anymore coasters in one park?! You’ve also got Congo River Rapids and Stanley Falls to cool you down with a bit of a splash too.

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For all you animal lovers, Busch Gardens give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful animals in some once in a lifetime opportunities. Walkabout Way is just like being in Australia with all of the kookaburras, kangaroos and wallabies. Not only that but you can also hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies! Be sure to check out the feeding times in the morning when you enter the parks.

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Serengeti Safari is a well known attraction at Busch Gardens but a lot of people still don’t know that there is an amazing feature on this safari where you can hand feed giraffes! That’s right..they will come over to you on your safari truck and eat right out of your hands!

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Over at Jungala you can see some the most breathtaking endangered animals such as Bengal tigers and orangutans. You can even soar through the trees on Jungle Flyer. If you enter Jungala from the bridge and look closely at the water rocks you’ll see the word ‘Jungala’! 😉

Just to show you even more of the care that they take over their animals, their Animal Care Centre is right inside the action in the park. You can go into the centre at any time of day (inside park opening hours of course) and if you’re there at the right time, you might even be able to watch the treatment. This could be anything from an x-ray to surgery!

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Busch Gardens really is an incredible park that you will never forget!

Sadly, we have come to the end of our secrets but be sure to let us know of anything else that you find on your holidays!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Busch Gardens 3rd Annual Food and Wine Festival

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Food, wine, animals and rides – I personally can’t think of a better combination.. Well, as long as the animals aren’t drinking the wine and you don’t go on a ride straight after eating 😉

Busch Gardens annual Food and Wine festival will be on every Saturday and Sunday from the 4th March until the 30th April. The festival area will be open from midday until 9pm and the headline concerts will start at 7pm. The whole 9 week festival will be jam packed with chart topping artists and enough food and drink to keep even the hungriest of people satisfied.

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‘From family-friendly animal encounters and crafts to festival games and live entertainment, the Busch Gardens® Food & Wine Festival is filled with exciting experiences around the park that pair perfectly with your culinary adventures.’

Loads of huge names will be taking centre stage each weekend and the headliners will begin at 7pm over on Gwazi Field. Some of the many artists include:

  • Sat 4th March – Daughtry
  • Sun 5th March – Andy Grammer
  • Sat 11th March – Goo Goo Dolls
  • Sun 12th March – Kool & The Gang
  • Sat 18th March – Young the Giant
  • Sun 19th March – Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio
  • Sat 25th March – NBC’s The Voice finalists Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam Wakefield
  • Sun 26th March – El Gran Combo
  • Sat 1st April – DNCE
  • Sun 2nd April – Walk Off The Earth
  • Sun 9th April – Daya and Matt Nathanson
  • Sun 16th April – Newsboys
  • Sat 22nd April – Gilberto Santa Rosa
  • Sun 3rd April – Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Here’s just a snippet of what food and beverage is going to be on offer..  duck tacos, lobster ravioli, bacon mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed pork belly, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocolates – as well as an expanded selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. YUM!!

Don’t forget that this great event is included with your admission ticket for Busch Gardens – food and beverages are not included and will be available at extra fee’s.

So if you’re heading on down to Busch Gardens between the 4th March – 30th April then make sure you don’t miss out on this four senses masterpiece – my mouth’s watering just at the thought!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Do You Really Mean All The Parks?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A lot of our customers ask for a ticket that includes ‘all of the parks’ without realising how many parks there actually are. Ticket purchasing can become quite complicated when you aren’t aware of all the parks and attractions, especially if you’re a first timer. We have ‘The Big Three’, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld but there is so much more!

Let’s take a look at the big three first.

Walt Disney World actually consists of 6 parks in total, 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and 2 water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. All of our Disney tickets include all 6 of these parks, we do not offer single day or single park tickets.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the park to explore lands of endless enchantment, where your fantasy becomes a reality. 

Disney’s Epcot allows you to travel around the globe, under the sea, into outer space…and beyond!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will amaze you, behold the magic of nature with rare animals and world-class entertainment.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios puts you smack bang in the middle of the action, take center stage in the world of movies, television, music and theater.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a storm ravaged tropical bay while Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a melting ski resort.

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Moving onto Universal now with their 2 theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. These 2 parks are joint together using The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express. You must have a hopper ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is of course, what we offer! 🙂

Tip: Ride the Hogwarts Express both ways to encounter two completely different experiences. 😉

Universal Studios is where you can jump into the action of your favourite movies and TV shows’. At the back of the park you will find yourself in Diagon Alley.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you can live the adventure. Towards the back of this park you will be in Hogsmeade.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is the newest park which is due to open on the 1st June 2017. Water is life. Life is joy. 

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have a total of 4 parks including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove.

SeaWorld Orlando has a mixture of thrill rides, family rides and animal interactions. SeaWorld rescue a lot of animals from the wild to treat them and then release them back into the wild.

Aquatica is SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park which is themed to the Southern Pacific and features Australian and New Zealand mascots that you can spot relating to each attraction.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about an hour out of Orlando but so worth the journey! The 19th century African themed park is also, like SeaWorld, a mixture of the thrill and family rides as well as the animal encounters. All of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is suitable for all the family.

Tip: We offer these parks at an amazing 3 parks for the price of 2 offer which entails free parking!

Discovery Cove is an amusement park where guests can completely relax with an all inclusive day and have the choice to ‘talk, touch, play and swim with bottlenose dolphins’.

There are 2 Discovery Cove packages available, 1 including 14 days into SeaWorld and Aquatica and our Ultimate package including 14 days into SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens.

Tip: You can make the most of the free parking with our Ultimate Package as well. 😉

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LEGOLAND Florida & Merlin Attractions is next up. LEGOLAND Florida has their theme park and their water park – great fun for all the family. As well as Legoland, Merlin also have I-Drive 360 which is made up of The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEALIFE Orlando.

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We offer a number of different ticket options for these attractions, so if you don’t necessarily want to visit all of them, you can take your pick!

If you’re looking to visit some of Florida’s more alternative attractions, you won’t be at a loose end as there are so many options!

Kennedy Space Center

Fun Spot

Gatorland

Boggy Creek – 30 minute

Boggy Creek – 1 hour

WonderWorks

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So if you were stuck for ideas, I hope you’re not anymore! All of these attractions are available on our website and any questions you have, you can contact us to find out more!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Top 10 Orlando Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve seen the top 5 attractions in each park and now it’s the big one, the top 10 attractions in Orlando overall.

1st Place: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Universal Studios.

2nd Place: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Islands of Adventure.

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3rd Place: Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom.

4th Place: Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster – Hollywood Studios.

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5th Place: Soarin’ – Epcot.

6th Place: Crush ‘n’ Gusher – Typhoon Lagoon.

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7th Place (joint): Summit Plummet – Blizzard Beach & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom.

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8th Place: Hard Rock Cafe – Universal City Walk.

9th Place: Manta – SeaWorld

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10th Place: Falcons Fury – Busch Gardens

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So it is clear to see that the Harry Potter attractions are extremely popular amongst our thrill seekers and why wouldn’t they be, they really are incredible.

With the opening of Volcano Bay next year I wonder how different this list will look at the end of 2017?! If you’re heading out to visit the parks don’t forget to leave your feedback and vote for your fave attractions!!

Smiles Included,

Jess
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Busch Garden’s Top Attraction’s 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Without a shadow of a doubt Falcons Fury is your favourite attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa and why wouldn’t it be?

Falcons Fury is the first drop coaster of its kind in the whole world! It stands at 335 feet tall and riders will travel at speeds of up to 60mph whilst diving towards earth – exactly like a Falcon.

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When at the top of Falcons Fury, Busch Gardens have added a little extra surprise for you.. (if you haven’t been yet and don’t like spoilers skip the next three lines) You will pivot 90 degrees whilst in mid air resulting in you being face down – in a dive position. Then the next thing you know you’ll be hurtling towards the ground at crazy speeds – probably screaming all the way.

Second Place: Cheetah Hunt – This multiple launch coaster will push you back in to your seat many times with three accelerations and super quick twists and turns throughout the 3 and a half minute sprint.

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Third Place: SheiKra – An incredible dive coaster. You’ll head 200 feet upwards, have 4 seconds to take in the view and then plummet straight back down at 90 degrees reaching up to 70mph!

Fourth Place: Congo River Rapids – This is a white water rafting experience like no other. You’ll travel in and out of mysterious caves and just hope that your side of the raft doesn’t get soaked by the waterfalls!! (unless it’s a really hot day then you’ll be hoping for the opposite!)

Fifth Place: Montu – A wicked coaster for any thrill seeker. Seven inversions, a batwing inversion, vertical loop, weightless roll and a simultaneous loop and roll.. You are sure to be blown away by this extreme coaster!

Yet again it has been proved that OAT thrill seekers are by far the most brave and daring by choosing Falcons Fury as the favourite attraction at Busch Gardens. (waaaay more brave than our own Kelly who bottled Falcons Fury when she visited!)

Smiles Included..

Jess
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POV Video Of Busch Gardens Cobra’s Curse

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Busch Gardens Cobra’s Curse opened this month and is getting lots a really positive reviews. The family spinning coaster is a great addition to a park that already boasts some of Florida’s best thrill rides including SheiKra, Falcons Fury and Montu.

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Today we were given access to this awesome POV video of Cobra’s Curse, check it out and let us know what you think.

Are you ready to take a spin on Cobra’s Curse?

You can purchase Busch Gardens Tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles included

Jamie

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Today Busch Gardens Tampa Unveils Cobra’s Curse

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today is the day you can take a spin on Busch Gardens new multi directional coaster Cobra’s Curse, the parks first spinning attraction is aimed at families and features an 80 foot tall Snake icon!

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The ride was open to the media last week and first reviews have been extremely positive;

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Cobra’s Curse Facts

Maximum Speed: 40 mph

Ride Length: More than 2,100 feet of track, 70 total track segments

Ride Duration: More than three and a half minutes

Seats: Up to 8 trains at a time, with 8 riders per train

Height Requirement: 48 inches to ride alone, 42 inches with parent or guardian

Ride Experience: The Cobra’s Curse ride experience unfolds in chapters: First, you will be facing forward for the first third of the ride and then be turned backwards for the second segment. Finally, for the final third of the ride, you’ll free spin into frenzy.

Queue Line: The air-conditioned queue line features an exhibit with live snakes, interactive elements and projection mapping technology to tell the story of the Snake King.

Snake Icon: 30,000 lb. in weight, 80-feet tall, Four-foot-long fangs, Three-foot-wide eyes.

This massive structure was constructed of nine stackable pieces. It has an internal steel spine and an outer shell composed of carved foam and fiberglass.

First Vertical Lift: The first experience on this ride is a lift that is one of a kind! This vertical lift functions in a similar way to an outdoor elevator and will take riders up in their coaster car to put them face- to-fang with the 80-foot Snake King.

Second Vertical Lift: The three-and-a-half-minute ride will also feature a second inclined lift that positions riders or the free-spin finale of the ride.

Location: Egypt area of Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay

You can purchase Busch Gardens Tampa Tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets. If you’re heading to the park today please let us know what you thought.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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